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Old September 20 2012, 03:48 PM   #59
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Re: Literate Trek Novels

JimZipCode wrote: View Post
CNash wrote: View Post
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be coming in with the assumption that most tie-in fiction is by definition inferior to "literature" or even mainstream science fiction.
I would back him up on that assumption 100%. The overwhelming majority of tie-in fiction is inferior to "original" fiction, pretty much by definition.
That's total BS, no better than any other form of prejudice or stereotyping. The overwhelming majority of original fiction is inferior too. For every brilliant writer of original fiction, there are numerous hacks churning out "original" works that are just as forgettable and disposable as the worst tie-in work. It's Sturgeon's Law: 90 percent of everything is crud. (A law Sturgeon coined specifically when people criticized him for writing Star Trek episodes because they ignorantly thought television was worse than prose.) If you define the quality of original fiction based on its best works and the quality of tie-in fiction based on the mass of mediocrity, then you're cooking the books to fit your preconceived bias. It's unfair and self-deluding. The mass of material in any genre is going to be mediocre or worse, but there's greatness in every genre too, and you won't find it if you don't believe it's there.

Heck, what do you think are the most widely read works of original fiction? Romance novels generally outsell other genres by a good margin, and few would expect those to be great literature, nor do most of their readers probably want them to be. Mystery novels are quite popular too, and I'm sure that for every brilliant mystery there are countless derivative, formulaic, obvious ones. There's always a market for junk food. Originality is certainly no guarantor of quality or intelligence.

Other Star Trek books remain "tie-in" novels. Fun for Star Trek fans, not much to offer non-fans.
And that prejudiced assumption is blinding you to what's actually there. Prejudice is inferior to original thinking, pretty much by definition.

Please accept my assurances that a few posts above, where I basically impled that all tie-ins are crap, I did not have your novels in mind.
I don't accept your assurances, because they're hypocritical, not to mention insulting to a lot of my colleagues and friends.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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